Any https://chat.stackexchange.com URL redirects to https://area51.stackexchange.com.

This started a few minutes ago (as of this posting).

This occurs for all three chat servers (chat.stackoverflow, chat.stackexchange, and chat.meta.stackexchange)

  • 14
    How does this happen?
    – Ginger
    Jan 17, 2023 at 21:43
  • 9
    Hey wait, this has happened before! Darn it, Haney!
    – Ginger
    Jan 17, 2023 at 21:44
  • 19
    We're looking into it. apologies, y'all.
    – Catija
    Jan 17, 2023 at 21:44
  • 5
    And before.
    – Mithical
    Jan 17, 2023 at 21:46
  • 3
    Wouldn't it be funny if this was to do with the other meta post about a51 chat parents and a botched fix :p
    – lyxal
    Jan 17, 2023 at 21:51
  • 15
    It's back now. We'll have someone write up what happened in a bit. :)
    – Catija
    Jan 17, 2023 at 21:51
  • Related prior issue that occurred last week Jan 17, 2023 at 21:54
  • 2
    Apparently some hours prior to this issue occurring, some authentication cookies were invalidated making it impossible for bots to post chat messages during that time. Jan 17, 2023 at 22:10
  • this happened to me too; and also - each time I log in, I have to log in many times (3 or 4 times) to diff sites; idk if it's related but; Jan 18, 2023 at 6:25
  • note I know the site was "down" or "read only" before, for some hour/s; idk maybe related as well oh btw; good luck to mods! no stress :) have a good day! Jan 18, 2023 at 6:25
  • 1
    I slept through that - its more of a dev/SRE problem, than a mod problem :D Jan 18, 2023 at 7:38

1 Answer 1


To quote a friend:

I broke it. I just unbroke it. Sorry!
- Haney, 2017

Also, the reason for the weird redirect is we attempt to resolve retired site names during an OnActionExecuting hook that handles a catch and redirects back to Area 51.

i.e. https://windowsphone.stackexchange.com/https://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/20757/windows-phone

But that handles too many thrown exceptions and kind of a silly way to re-route traffic. Still would've been broken anyway, but we'll shore this up to make it a little more obvious to the end user what's happening if errors arise.

  • So whenever a site is retired, chat will break for few hours until dev manually change it? Jan 19, 2023 at 8:23
  • 2
    So you're telling me that your fallback for having a site break is... redirecting to its Area 51 page???
    – Ginger
    Jan 19, 2023 at 11:52
  • 2
    Oh, in case it's been retired :p
    – Ginger
    Jan 19, 2023 at 11:54
  • 3
    @ShadowWizardChasingStars, no, the error was unrelated, just the way that error manifests as a redirect is the additional odd part that can be handled even better.
    – KyleMit StaffMod
    Jan 19, 2023 at 13:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .